Can I be liable for a general contractor's attorney fees?
Question Details: I hired a general contractor, per bank insistence, to remodel a building into a home. There were issues with the foundation contractor he hired and he got an attorney. He had asked us to go in with him on the suit. Thinking we might but needing more information, we attended a meeting with his attorney and our general contractor. His attorney advised us to seek independent counsel, as we could have a case against our general contractor. However, he could represent us if we signed a waiver of right to take legal action against our general contractor. As the job was just beginning, while we had verbally agreed to join him, when advised that we would give up our right to legal action against him to do so, we changed our minds and did not sign the waiver. We had no input during that meeting, told so by his attorney. Now, the general contractor, while paid in full for the work, has stopped working until we pay his attorney's fees. Can we be legally responsible for those fees?
You are only legally liable or responsible for another's legal fees if you agreed to pay. If you never signed the necessary waiver or any other agreement to cover part of the fee, you would not have to: an agreement to pay another's legal fees generally needs to be in writing to be enforceable.